From Smoky Mountain apparel to beautiful, handmade pieces, the Gatlinburg shopping scene has so many things for you to discover. Whether you’re looking for the perfect souvenir or a gift for a loved one, you’re sure to find just what you set out for here. To help you plan for your trip, here are 5 of the best places to go shopping in Gatlinburg.
The Village Shoppes in Gatlinburg are a must-visit when in the Smokies, the architectural components and historic elements that make up the buildings are equally as intriguing. “We tried to build an attractive mall that was different from anything else in the world,” says Village co-founder and former co-owner Jim Gerding, “and I feel like we accomplished that.”
Jim Gerding (left) and Dave Dych had a vision for The Village Shopping Center, and they traveled the world to gather ideas and relics to bring that vision to life. Image courtesy of the Gerding family.
Gerding and his business partner Dave Dych, who passed away in 2003, traveled far and wide in pursuit of discarded or for-sale treasures that could enjoy new life in their one-of-a-kind complex, all part of their vision to create a shopping experience like none other in the region. It’s these fascinating elements that, still today, make the outdoor mall not only a retail destination, but also an architectural treasure worthy of exploring.
“We spent considerable amount of time gathering up old glass windows and doors and transoms and slate and hand-carved mantles and hand-carved stairways,” shares Gerding. “Not any one of them is a standout, but The Village is a blending of these different items.”
The brick used to create this building, which currently houses Master’s Editions, came from both the Witt McMahan home and an old L&N Hotel in Knoxville and date back as far as the late 1700s. The stained glass window, which is hand-made and believed to come from Italy circa late-1800s, was reclaimed from Second Presbyterian Church in Knoxville.
The Hayloft‘s slate roof came from the Ross mansion, owned by early Knoxville industrialist W.C. Ross. In fact, many of The Village features came from the Ross mansion, including a stairway and various light fixtures.
The Spice & Tea Exchange
The Spice & Tea Exchange is located in The Village Shoppes in Gatlinburg. You’ll absolutely love the Old World spice trading atmosphere when you walk through the door. This specialty store offers more than 140 spices, over 80 exclusive hand-mixed blends, 16 naturally flavored sugars, an array of salts from around the world, and more than 30 exotic teas. Their main focus is to provide high-quality products and accessories to chefs, home cooks, and tea lovers. You’ll be so excited to take these products home and try them out when you’re cooking!
The doorway, transom and side panels that make up the entry to The Spice & Tea Exchange were originally used in a Johnson City home that was built in 1911. Gerding and Dych purchased them in 1971 and gave them new purpose at The Village. They are stunning!
The doorway, side panels, transom and arched window of The Spice & Tea Exchange were originally part of the home belonging to Robert Hunter of Johnson City, which was built in 1911. Gerding and Dych purchased these pieces in 1971 to incorporate them into The Village.
Another great stop in The Village Shops in Gatlinburg is the Pepper Palace! This store encourages a fun and fiery environment that you’ll immediately notice when you step through the front door. Inside, you can browse through all of their famous hot sauces, salsas, seasonings, and rubs. Their small batch, handcrafted, natural, and award-winning products are just what you need to add a little charisma to your everyday meals that might be starting to taste a little bland.
The windows in The Honey Pot at the Village Shops are believed to have come from Italy; Gerding acquired them from Second Presbyterian Church in Knoxville. The antique mirror in the Life is Good shop is also believed to have originated in Italy, though it was acquired for The Village Shopping Center at auction in 1977. And the newel post in The Sock Shop came from a four-story mansion in Montreal, a structure that was built in 1880. This component has enjoyed new life at The Village since Gerding purchased it in 1975. Stop in to Cartoons & Toys, grab a souvenir and check out the staircase, which was originally found in a senator’s Knoxville home.
Novus Candela Bath & Crafts
Who doesn’t love a beautiful candle to add a warm glow to their home? The scented soy candles at Novus Candela Bath & Crafts are absolutely wonderful and are sure to make any room you put them in seem cozier. In addition to their lovely, handmade candles, you can also find goat’s milk soaps and essential oils there. They also carry a large selection of gorgeous handmade quilts, jewelry, paintings, and scenic pictures.
The Celtic Shop
If you’re planning on spending the afternoon on the Gatlinburg Parkway, you should definitely make a stop at The Celtic Shop! It features a wide selection of genuine Celtic pieces that were hand selected by the staff during their previous visits to Ireland and Scotland. From apparel and jewelry to posters and other fun knick-knacks, there are so many items for you to look at that will remind you of your trip to the Smokies and your heritage!
The pieces from Brandywine Pottery make both thoughtful gifts and great additions to any room in your house! The influential artist that this shop is named after, Brandy Ward, creates functional pottery inspired by the forests of the Smoky Mountains. Each of his pieces is hand thrown and glazed with an airbrush. His technique truly makes the pottery sold in this store one-of-a-kind.
There’s always something new and unique to discover when you shop here! Come see all of these fantastic shops for yourself, and you’ll most likely walk away with some amazing new treasures! Be sure to also check out all the other places to go shopping in Gatlinburg for a truly unforgettable trip.